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Inside Washington

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Benghazi 3, Us 3, Cincinnati 2, The Irs 2, Washington 2, America 2, Susan Rice 2, Obama 2, Cia 2, Irs 2, Nixon 1, Sanconed 1, Libya 1, Yemen 1, New York 1, Tuday 1, Embasassy 1, Mr. Thomas 1, Clton 1, Bobby Kennedy 1,
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  WJLA    Inside Washington    News/Business. Round-table  
   discussions feature journalists. (CC) (Stereo)  

    May 19, 2013
    9:00 - 9:30am EDT  

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investigate what happened. >> this week, the president in damage control. >> who is going to jail over the scandal? >> the white house caves to demands for the benghazizi e- mails. >> the issue of these talking points throughout this process has been a sideshow. >> the justice depapartment loos into associated press phone recocords. >> they have not explained why we did not get a prior notice. >> and a sexual assault in the military. >> was raped at a graduation party. captioned by the national captioning institute --wwncicap.org-- >>00 days into president obama's second term he was asked
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if he still had the juice to get the rest of the agenda through congress. the president responded if you put it that way maybe i should pack up and go home.given the week he has had, perhaps you would not blame him for thinking he should go home. on monday the headline was gop demands an obama apology and seeks a probe of irs for singling out the tea party. on wednesday, the irs gave a pass to liberals. here is a cry of pain from a major fundraiser for mit romney. >> three federal audits at once. tax breaks for the makerof the ads that poisoned our airwaves. >> that is also a scandal. >> on tuday, t town is turning on obama. all of the ingredients are in place for a good old-fashioned pile on. i know it is christmas time for
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republicans. how bad is it for the president? mistake.a test.make no the agenda is put on hold, the stories e negative, and the question is, can he take control of it? can he own it and be the authority figure and demand answers, realistic answers people are going to accept? >> can the president get from under this one? >> can he own his own government? he is a bystandard. i read about it in the wspaper. the attorney general asked about the ap story, the dragnet of the phone calls. i have no idea. i can't remember when i recud myself. i wahaving lunch of the time. these ys want to get elected, they pretend the gernment is something out there and they just arrived on the scene like a bystandard. >> you were born in this town.
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on a scale of 1-10, where is ththis one? >> 5. if you take em one by one, let's go bacto the irs, there is no evidence that what happened to the irs sanconed, it certainly does not rise to the treasury department. the good thing about this, it was self policing that caught this. the inspector general found out he blew the whistle. >> president nixon ordered his perceived enemies' taxes audited. >> it was not just nixon, it was fdr, kennedy, bobby kennedy, after watergate there were some laws to separate the white house. there is evidence that clinton misused the irs. it is an old game.
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this is not just something obama was doing, this was down t ain. i do not think they found a nk that sgested oba was involved.. >> we only lrned about did a week ago. we are saying theris not a link to the white house. i do not know if there is. when o obama was asked, can you assure us no one in the white house knew about this, his answer was, i did not knowbo the report ununtil i read about it last week. he was asked about the scandal, not the ig. he gave the most narrow answer you could have. all i am saying is that it opened a lot of questions. >> as i followed the story, we learned about the existence of the inspector general's report, the treasury department on the irs. that had not been released.
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there was a reference made to it earlie i can understatand the president not knowing about this. he would have been ill-suited to get in the details. the law is clear about the white house separating them from the irirs. >> what goes on in cincinti that thehey felt they had to target the tea party? >> these are the queststions tht demand answers everybody that headed these agencies, they are a presidentialal appointee. eric holder is a vy personal friend of thpresident. the irs commissner, who was asked from the george bush administration was kept there by president obama. the question becomes, who knew anhing about this?
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was it h hatched in cincinnati where was it at a me when the -- or was it in fact at a time when the tea party w was ascended, a thn in t administration's side. hey, let's get even with them. >> we are in the wonderland of the e 501 c. why not st bag it? >> the rules are confusing. that is the defense the bureaucrat. this is not unusual in government where they intentionally leave it for the bureaucrats to interpret it. the idea of obama was orderingng this is far-r-fetched. we do not know yet but i am going to be shocked. >> i a am not saying obama is, i
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am not suggesting it. but where did the guys in cincinnati sitting around lunch decide, is it a hotbed of left- wi activism? i have not heard that. on the rulules being ambiguous, the rule about targeting the tea party and people on the right and noanybody else, th can't be aule. no matter how ambiguous. >> everybody has stipulated. that was not a proper action. >> where did they get the idea that is s what we need to know? >> target the aclu and see what happens. >> the irs is the story here. that is the big one. this is going to grow. the republicans do run the risk, let me tell you, of overkill. the hearing they held on
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benghazi was a public lations disaster and i thihink they had better see the films of 1998. >> y y said d the pr testimony s >> thanks for
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>> it draws hillary clton into this and puts her fingerprints >> on thursday, it sounded like trying to blame congress for not passing funding for increasing security. what did we learn from the e- mails? >> we learned there wawas a tutf war.this
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should not surprise us. the cia and state department are fighting with each other. i think this is much a about not much. maybe there was some pitics involved but i do not see a scandal. >> one of our panelists have written we have evidence of a cover-up of a cover-up. would somebody explain to me what crime is being coveredp? >> that is the worst part of this. unlike in wa itergate where thee was a crime, with the state department wanted to do was to edscure the idea it had neglect the warnings about the security that there was a memo before the attack, libya saying w we have o hahave help. there is also a question of nothing in done, no attempted rescue and the i idea ththat sow help would notot have arrived in do you know
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help is not going to arrive in time. you dodo not know it is going to be seven hours and not 17 hours. they want to obscure what had happened and to spin it as a spontaneous thing rather than a rror attack. and the neglglect, if that were the fact that came out. that is why it is not only aturf war, it was a turf war over a story. the story was intended in order to cover the neglect and dereliction of the state department and of the government in protecting its own people. >> can i associate myself with the remarks of mr. thomas? this is an airbrushing of the report. it was a turf war between the cia and the state department and the truth be known, it was not an embasassy, it was never an embassy. it was a cia office in benghazi.
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we did not want to advertise that. that is why the ambassador was there, and w we did promise this was going to be the most open and transparent administration in history. i think liberals and conservativeves would acknowlede the pmise has not been kept. >> this thing got off track by the critics. first of all, susan rice s at fault. shwas misleading the american people. she was not doing ything of the sort. this is something that came to her. she got a copy of the talking points and used them. she should have said to them, this is not in my job description. but she sold tse talking points. the other thing is that it was
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not of the consulate.-- not a consulate. this is why they were fighting over in the talking points, it was a cia operation. when the cia put langge in the talking points, the state department said this was your they took that out. the only political thing was a reference to congress reacting to that statement. >> whoho also worked with the bh administration. the washington post said it follows after what you said that susan rice did not mislead anyone and everyone e oweses hen apology. if she gets an apology i will buy everybody lunch on friday for the rest of the year. >> she did mislead. she said a story t that was t true. she was obviously a dupe. so the idea --
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>> how can you call her a liar? >> i did not call her a liar. >> your friends did. >> these are not my friends. thesese are people that speak fr themselves. she is owed nothing. she spoke to t american people on stuff she was given. if you're given stuff you ask about it. where was the secretary of state? that was her job to go out there and spk about this. susan n rice knew nothing. she was the ong person. but to apologize, and she misled the american people. >> according to an editorial, every version of the talking points covered the assessment that they re spontaneously inspired by protests at the u.s. embassy and evolved into a direct assault. >> so much of ththis is a functn of time. you noticed hoquickly all of this happen?
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nobody has any time to figure ththis out. we expect the government to be able t to respond instantaneousy in chaotic events. it is an unrealistic assumption. >> the paragraphs that a actualy have the truth, and that was problem.e >> the fbi concurred because they did not want to tip off. >> there is a memo that says the fbi had no trouble with the talking points. >> i disagree. >> i challenge anyone to tell me how this benghazi story moves to the dimensions the base of the republican party wanted it to be. it is food for those that began
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believing that barack obama was illegitimate as president. ♪ [ female announcer ] from more efficient payments. ♪ to more efficient pick-ups. ♪ wireless is limitless.
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[ female announcer ] from meeting customer needs... to meeting patient needs... ♪ wireless is limitless. >> this was a serious leak. a very serious leak. it put the american people at risk. >> there is the attorney general. response to suggestions the department of justice s out of line going after the ap phone records withouout prior nonotic. evan, the ap calls this an unprecedented intrusion. you wrote a book a about the ci. what is your take? >> it isis an intrusion. there are millions of investigations but as they g along, thegovernment is careful toarrow them because they
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don't want to have massive investigationsns they get the press mad at them. for some reason that did not happen. it is typical prosecutors want these things but usually somebody at a higher level says wait a second, let's tone it down. that did not happen. i do not know why but it is puzzling. i will sayay it seems like a bad leak. therere is evidence it was harmful. >> you are in journalism but you have been part of the security apparatus. >> i have conducted vestigations. i remember interviewing an official suspected of leaking. there was nothing else we c coud do. the idea of going after the press never occurred to us. this is bad for a number of reasons. we have a security aaratus that tries to prevent penetration of people that --who
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information. this did not come from the enemy. wantings done fohubris. to boast about what they had done against this operation in yemen. it was nothing but hubris in that they y wanted to show the obama administration as fighting al qaeda. that came fromom within. sure, it was a betrayal, a betrayal by their own people. >> johbrennan was on the phone speaking to people t that went n television. there was some suspicion that the original leak -- there was a second one about thehe virus e
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israelis and americans introduced into the iranian nuclr system. a huge story, the front page of the new york times. but ask yourself, isn't this going to help the enemy? you wonder if that was done make obama look in control, youhing up against iraran. have e these leaks, did they he anybody under oath? >> we had a court ruling about prior restraint. >> i w will say this, what you have right now is a classic example in washington of secrecy being used to cover any and all transgressions. that happens to every administstration and it is happening here to the administration that came in th
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vowing just the opposite. i not think there is any defense that could be given. the net result is very straightforward. anybody with information going to anybody on this panel or with a press badge to tell them something wrong that is going on in the government. >> the law is not clear. there is no shield for the press. in practice they have not done it because they realize it can go down a bad robut the law > w keepy anything. it up and we will
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am a veteran and a survivor of rape and harassment in the military. >> when any victctim is forced o salute her attacker, clearly our system is broken. >> a sponsor of a bill that
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would take prosesecution of sexl assault out of the chain of command and turned it over to a military prosecutor. we have had story after story after story. good move? a >> i think it is. i think it is needed. i spoke with a victim last year, a a young woman, it was her superior whoho had done this. she said, what cld i do? if it is the person above me, i am in trouble.e. the only way you can do this is take it out of the chain of command. and punish those tt are doing it. severely punish them. >> the colonel in thnavyad discretion under the bill. there are things you can setle, article 15. >> i do think this has reached a
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level, thank goodness for the press coverage. the fact that it is hitting the spotlight and the sunlight. but this is truly an outrageous act because it is rank upon rank. it is using the power and the authority of the military. >> the military is a reflection of our culture and there is something wrong with our culture. there is a t of rape in college. we have a degradeded culture and it is producing more of this. we are kind of turning our eye anpretending it is not we hav to think about it. >> it is juscatching up with the change in social structure. for 150 years the military was all male. now it is integrated. >> the last word, thanks. see you next week.
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